QuickBooks: Resolve data damage with the Rebuild Data Utility

??????????????????????????????????The Rebuild Data Utility repairs transaction and list damage in your company file, but it is limited to damage it is programmed to fix.


Run the Rebuild Data Utility When:

  • You see an error message suggesting you Rebuild your data file.
  • Verify Data ends with a data damage message.
  • A QuickBooks In Product Help or a knowledge base article suggests you Rebuild your data.
  • A QuickBooks Support Engineer recommends that you run it.
  • Forms or reports display incorrectly.
  • Note: Frequent Rebuilds may be caused by Negative Quantity on Hand also known as Negative Inventory.


Rebuilding DO’s and DON’T’s


    Even though the Rebuild Data utility creates a backup, creating a separate backup or file copy protects you against permanent loss of your data.
    Run Rebuild on your you local workstation or install the QuickBooks Program on your server.
    Do not close QuickBooks or end the Qbw32.exe process from Task manager. Doing so will damage your data file beyond repair and you will have to restore a backup. Please allow Rebuild the time it needs.
    Running Rebuild when the encrypted data is corrupted can force you to escalate the file to Data Services instead of resolving the issue over the phone.


Running the Rebuild Utility



  1. Identifying and resolving data damage can be a long and elusive adventure, especially if the file has to go to Data Services.
    • It may be better to restore a recent, undamaged, back up of your data file and reenter lost data.
  2. We cannot say how long your Rebuild will take. Small files take a few minutes. Typical files take 15 – 30 minutes. Very large files can run over night or over the weekend.
  3. Your computer may appear frozen or you might see “QuickBooks is not responding.” If you move mouse and the mouse pointer moves, then Rebuild Data is still working.
  4. You may need to Rebuild twice to resolve your data damage.
    • The first Rebuild fixes most of the damage, but reveals other damage that it cannot resolve.
    • A second Rebuild resolves damage that the first Rebuild did not resolve.


Prepare to Run the Rebuild Data Utility

  1. Close and reopen your company data file to create an new copy of the Qbwin.log file.
  2. Log in to your data file as Admin on the computer where the file is stored.
  3. Switch to single-user mode.
  4. Resort your lists.
  5. Record your file specifications:
    • In QuickBooks, press F2 (or Ctrl+1) to open the Product Information window.
    • Record the file size, transactions, targets, links and DB File Fragments.
    • Compare these numbers to the same numbers after the Rebuild.
  6. In the menu bar, choose Window and select Close All.


Run the Rebuild Data Utility

  1. In the menu bar, choose File > Utilities > Rebuild Data.
  2. Click OK on the message to make a backup.
    • In the Create Backup window, select Local Backup.
    • Click the Options button and enter a path and folder for the back up. Do not overwrite any existing backups.
    • Select Complete verification and click OK.
    • Click Next.
    • In the Save Backup Copy window, the information should be filled in from previous window.
    • QuickBooks will start the backup and then automatically start the Rebuild Data utility.
  3. If you see the message “Rebuild has completed,”
    • Click OK on the message, Close your company file, then reopen it to refresh your lists.
  4. If you see a message that says “Rebuild has failed”, press OK and see “If Rebuild Crashes,” below.
  5. Run the Verify Data Utility to assure that detectable data damage is resolved.
  6. Check the Qbwin.log file for error messages from the Rebuild and the Verify.


If these steps do not resolve the issue, you may want to pop over to our QuickBooks Company File Data Operations Page and enlist our services.


After Rebuild


Effects of the Rebuild Data Utility

  1. Compare your data specifications.
    • In QuickBooks, press F2 (or Ctrl+1) to open the Product Information window.
    • Record the file size, transactions, targets, links and DB File Fragments.
    • Compare these numbers to the same numbers your recorded before the Rebuild.
  2. Differences in these numbers provide clues to root causes of your issues and how Rebuild repaired your file:
    • If the file size increases, Rebuild fixed damaged transactions that previously were not being counted. The number of transactions may have increased.
    • If the Rebuild decreases the file size, it has:
    • Reduced or eliminated inflation (empty spaces) within the file.
    • Deleted transactions which you may or may not have to reenter.
  3. If the Rebuild Data utility cannot completely read a damaged transaction, it will do its best to recreate the affected list elements, the transaction and its links.
    • Rebuilt names are added to the Other Names List.
    • Rebuilt accounts have a number for a name and are of type Bank.
    • Rebuilt items are of type Service which cannot be changed.


If Rebuild Does Not Resolve Your Issue:

  1. You may need to run a second Rebuild.
  2. Return to Resolve Data Damage, Part 1 and continue with the Automated Tools that QuickBooks provides.
  3. You may have to fix some lists and/or list entries manually.
  4. You may have to fix some transactions manually.
  5. You may have to repair links between transactions.
  6. You may need to restore a previous backup, start a new data file or send your current file to Intuit for recovery.


If Rebuild crashes.

Rebuild can fail if it encounters a transaction that is so badly damaged that it 1) cannot ignore it, 2) cannot repair it and 3) cannot delete it. If Rebuild crashes, the last line of the Qbwin.log file / Rebuild log shows the transaction that caused the crash. If you can identify the damaged transaction, then you can:

  1. Recall the damaged transaction.
  2. Record the date and the document number in the source memo.
  3. Memorize the transaction.
  4. Delete the transaction (do not reenter it yet.)
  5. Run Rebuild again.
    • If Rebuild fails go to Step 6.
    • If Rebuild finishes, go to Step 8.
  6. Open the Qbwin.log file, find the Rebuild log and identify the next damaged transaction.
  7. Repeat Steps 1 – 5 until Rebuild completes.
  8. Reenter all of the damaged transactions from the memorized transaction list, entering the correct document number and date.


If you cannot identify the transaction from the Rebuild log, you may want to pop over to our QuickBooks Company File Data Operations Page and enlist our services.

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